The Chairperson informed Members about the cancellation of the Eastern Cape oversight visit due to her deployment to the Ad Hoc Committee considering the Police Minister’s report on the Nkandla upgrades. Some Members felt that the oversight visit was vitally important and should not be cancelled. Members were notified that it would take place in September instead.
The Draft Committee Report on Tourism Indaba, 2015 was neither considered nor adopted given that only two Members out of those who conducted oversight visit were present.
The Content Advisor briefed Members on the Committee’s Annual Performance Plan (APP) 2015/16. He underscored the preliminary issues of the APP that were discussed and stressed that targets were drawn from Parliamentary APP. He further stated that strategic objectives were developed in accordance with the template that was given to him and that a five year plan was developed accordingly. There was no quorum for the Committee to adopt it.
There were general discussions about the new immigration regulations with some Members pointing out the negative impact it had on the tourism industry.
Welcome and Introductory Remarks
The Chairperson welcomed Members and informed them that she had been deployed to the Ad Hoc Committee considering the Police Minister’s report on the Nkandla upgrades. She would be the whip of that Committee. For this reason, the Committee’s planned oversight visit to the Eastern Cape had been cancelled. However, if Members insisted on going, they would do so without her. In addition, she reminded Members that they needed to decide whether they would conduct the oversight visit in connection with two projects based in Northern Cape.
Mr J Vos (DA) sought clarity on whether the Eastern Cape oversight cancellation was due to the fact that the Chairperson was appointed to chair the aforementioned Ad Hoc Committee. He had no problem wih Members conducting an oversight without the Chairperson. He pointed out that the Committee was lagging behind other committees when it came to performing this function.
Mr Vos further stated that he had a problem with the manner in which the Committee’s programme was being implemented. The inability to embark on the Committee’s oversight mandate could not be denied. With regards to the aforesaid projects, he had taken his own initiative to visit them. He added that the Committee should take note that the tourism industry was a key factor in the South African economy. Therefore oversights should be done thoroughly and comprehensively.
The Chairperson responded that almost all chairpersons had been deployed to the Ad hoc Committee. The fact that she stated that the oversight visit was cancelled should not be translated to mean that there would be no oversight at all. The September period should be utilised to conduct all oversight visits.
Mr J Esterhuisen (IFP) remarked that the tourism industry was facing various problems; some of which could be read about on social media. He viewed oversights visits as very crucial to the Committee’s functions and operations. As time progresses, Members of the Committee should decide which oversight visit they could attend to.
The Chairperson responded that the Eastern Cape oversight was still on the cards and that other oversight visits would be decided upon.
The Chairperson acknowledged an apology tendered by Mr S Bekwa (ANC) and Ms E Masehela (ANC). The latter apology was not communicated to Mr Jerry Boltina, the Committee Secretary.
Consideration of Draft Committee Report on Tourism Indaba, 2015
The Report on Tourism Indaba Report Indaba, 2015 was tabled. However, the Chairperson stated that the report could not be considered for adoption because, among Members who attended the event, only she and Ms P Adams (ANC) were present.
Mr Vos remarked that the Chairperson should ensure that the Committee takes part in the Indaba event because it was vitally important. He added that the Indaba report should be reviewed before it was tabled to the National Assembly for all Members to be on the same page. When the Committee receives an invitation to attend an important event such as Tourism Indaba he urged that those responsible should deal with invitations timeously. He saw no reason why it took the Department of Tourism so long to get invitations and logistical arrangements in place for Members to attend.
The Chairperson responded that the issues of delay were raised with the Department of Tourism and that she was awaiting the response from it. In addition, the entity in charge of preparing the Indaba events had also been had also been asked to comment. The Committee Secretary was asked to follow up on these matters.
Consideration of Committee Annual Performance Plan 2015/16 Financial Year
Dr Sibusiso Khuzwayo, Content Advisor, briefed the Committee on Annual Performance Plan (APP) 2015/16. He stated that the preliminary issues of the APP were discussed in the Gauteng meeting. Certain targets were drawn from Parliamentary APP. Also, a five year plan was developed. He highlighted activities to be achieved by the Committee.
He noted that the strategic objectives of the Committee were based on the strategic objectives of parliament that apply to the Committee Section. The applicable strategic objectives are as follows:
-Reduce average turnaround time for provision of procedural and legal advice, content and analytical advice, research products, minutes and reports and related services for Houses, committees and Members.
-Refine and implement Oversight and Accountability Model
- Develop and implement a legislative model to ensure an enhanced quality of support, advice and law making by 2019
- Implement public participation model
- Develop and implement a co-operative government mechanism
Mr A Whitfield (DA) sought clarity on the impact of the immigration regulations on the tourism industry. Complaints were being received from stakeholders in the tourism domain. Due to stringent immigration rules, more tourists were visiting Kenya and Turkey instead. Given the impact or perceived impact of visa regulations, it was the responsibility of the Committee to visit its source market to find what its feelings were regarding visa regulations.
Ms Makhubele-Mashele requested Mr Whitfield to unpack what“the source market” meant. She stated that the Department of Home Affairs was conducting a study on the impact of immigration regulations, with a particular focus on visas. The cause for the decrease in visitors was not yet determined. For instance, Western Africa was hit by Ebola, and this could be a contributory cause. Members should wait until the study was officially released. She also expressed her concern about the discrepancies in the budget.
Mr Vos seconded the matter raised by Whitfield in respect of a study tour and remarked that the Committee should engage with all stakeholders to find out what they were doing. The country should focus on ensuring that visa tourism is friendly to tourists. The DHA used figures of 30 000 children which were trafficked. These figures were not corresponding with the Public Protector’s Report. The Office of the Public Protector reported just four cases since 2004. Another eight cases were still under investigations. In terms of tourism statistics, the Committee should know what was happening at national, municipal and provincial levels.
Mr Esterhuizen remarked that the Committee on Tourism was the most competent Committeecompared to other Committees. However, the tourism industry was challenged with new immigration regulations. To address this challenge, this Committee should engage more and aggressively with the Department of Home Affairs.
Ms Makhubele-Mashele responded that human trafficking in all forms should be fought against. It did not matter whether only one child was missing.
The Chairperson indicated that there was no quorum for them to take a resolution.
Consideration and Adoption of minutes
Minutes of 19 June 2015 were considered and adopted.
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